Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MMu)



First Advisor

John Nelson

Second Advisor

Charles Knox

Third Advisor

Susan Tepping

Fourth Advisor

John Sutherland


The purpose of this study was to compare and contrast the orchestration techniques employed in two different concertos for guitar. The first concerto examined was the Concerto in A Major for guitar and orchestra, Opus 30, by Mauro Giuliani. The second was the Concierto del Sur by Manuel Ponce.

There are several reasons for the significance of this particular comparison. The musical inclinations and training of the two composers were different in that Giuliani was a virtuoso guitarist from the early nineteenth century and Ponce was a non­guitarist of the early to middle twentieth century. In addition, Giuliani's concerto is probably the first guitar concerto ever written; whereas, Ponce had several models from which to draw and was a student of orchestration. Finally, Giuliani was influenced by the conventions of early nineteenth century Vienna. Ponce was influenced by the stylistic freedoms of the twentieth century and the folk music of his homeland -Mexico.

Instead of using preset problems for the orchestral analysis of the works, I chose to move sequentially through the movements. Specific problems in the orchestrations are addressed as they occur and merit attention. As I moved through the pieces, I attempted to address specific problems only once. For example, when a particular instrumental combination or setting occurs in Ponce's work that also occurs in a similar context in Giuliani's concerto, only one example is stressed.

From an analytical standpoint, my intention was to uncover some of the positives and negatives of composing for guitar and orchestra. The guitar is so quiet an instrument that the problems in orchestrating for it are considerable. Hence, the fundamental problems addressed are those traditionally associated with orchestration: timbre, texture, range, register, articulation, dynamics, etc., with a special regard to how these problems relate to the guitar itself and the guitar with orchestra. Because of the scant information available on the orchestration of the guitar, I have included a section explaining some of the special effects and capabilities of the guitar as used in these two concertos.


File Upload Confirmation